Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – Brazilian defense material manufacturers have been liaising and talking deals for three days now at the International Defence Exhibition And Conference (Idex) taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from February 21 to 25. Idex 2021 is the first in-person defense industry event joined by Brazilian enterprises since the pandemic broke out. The Brazilian participation has been orchestrated by the Brazilian Defense and Security Material Industries Association (Abimde).
The exhibition features the latest technologies and innovations in defense, and it enables businesses, governments and institutions to connect. In addition to Abimde, the Brazilian pavilion features a delegation of authorities including Brazilian Defense and Foreign Affairs ministries officials, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and the Brazilian Armed Forces. Delegates from Base Industrial de Defesa e Segurança – Bids (the Defense and Security Industrial Base) are also participating.
Brazilian companies including Atech, Avibras, Avionics, CBC, Condor, Embraer, Gespi, Kryptus, MacJee, M&K Logistics, Siatt, and Taurus are exhibiting at the space organized by Abimde and Apex-Brasil, with support from the ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC). “[The exhibition] is a watershed for the defense industry, because it marks a gradual resumption of activity,” a press release quoted Abimde Projects director Paulo Albuquerque (pictured above, on the left) as saying.
Embraer and Mac Jee have standalone booths. Mac Jee CEO Simon Jeannot (pictured, center) said turnout at the event is weaker this year than in 2019. “But since this is the first event since the pandemic, which saw many shows be cancelled, this is a breather to us all in the defense industry. We are very happy to be here, because despite even though the event isn’t nearly as busy, that’s not a determining factor. What matters is the quality of the visits we are getting,” said Jeannot..
“We are glad Abimde is at its first in-person event in an Arab country since the pandemic began, and I know it will not be the last. In March they’re joining an event in Qatar. This attests to the importance of Brazil to the world, and the importance of this region to Brazil’s defense industry. The Arab Brazilian Chamber is here to support them,” said ABCC international office head Rafael Solimeo (pictured, on the right), who attended the exhibition on Monday (22).
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The Brazilian delegation is led by Defense Products secretary Marcos Degaut. It features the Brazilian Ministry of Defense’s Commercial Promotion Department director, divisional general Luis Antônio Duizit Brito; the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Defense Products Division chef César Nascimento; and Apex-Brasil Projects manager Paulo Silva. Also in attendance are Abimde president Roberto Gallo, and Albuquerque.
This Tuesday (23), a delegation from Egypt visited the Brazilian pavilion. Paulo Albuquerque stressed the relevance of the Brazilian Defense Day – Egypt, an online event held July 2020 to build connections between the two countries, with the participation of industry delegates and officials from Egypt and Brazil. “That meeting opened doors for our members and made the Egyptian market more accessible,” he said.
Idex organizers have put in place protective measures including PCR testing every 48 hours, glass or acrylic shields on counters, and outdoor meeting rooms.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum